Designing what the client asks for, and only and exactly that, is easy. Equally easy, is to design exactly what you want to – regardless of your client’s needs – and justify it to them. The problem is that both of those approaches are win-lose. One of many examples why easy is hardly ever the best way. That’s what the status quo is built on – scarcity, win-lose, my way or the highway thinking. It is problematic to say the least.
In the first situation, the client wins by achieving their goals – but the designer (and sometimes the target audience) is an unfulfilled doormat. In the second situation, the designing is actually competing with the client for what is important. This is clearly not a sustainable client-designer relationship.
Win-Win is the highest calling – but sometimes feels and seems unimaginable. It is often possible, but generally only by great effort and a relentless dedication to mutual benefit. It takes a designer who is not afraid of digging deeper, and okay with letting go to re-imagine again and again. The status quo is okay with win-lose (“as long as I am happy (or the client is happy), all is good”). But truly revolutionary design strengthens the client-designer relationship. It is both beautiful and functional, right on target and simultaneously beyond it, and is a win-win for all.